Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.
What do you do for WoW Insider?
I write the weekly Officers' Quarters column and . . . that's about it! Officers' Quarters is an advice column for guild leaders and occasionally for their members, too. Guilds are the driving force behind all MMOs and Warcraft is no exception. No game can survive without great guilds, and it is my goal to help people create and sustain great guilds. What gives me the authority? I've been running the same guild since January of 2005 -- it's one of the oldest surviving guilds in Warcraft. I have not announced what guild I lead. Maybe someday I will, but not today.
Is my guild exceptional? In its longevity and the quality of its members, it is absolutely exceptional in my opinion. But we also struggle with many of the problems faced by casual raiding guilds: recruitment, drama, progression, and everything else. The hallmark of effective guild leadership isn't running a guild that is completely free of problems -- it's how you weather the hardships and learn from your mistakes.
What's your main right now?
I switched to a Holy paladin a few months after The Burning Crusade was released and that character has been my main ever since. I never thought I would enjoy healing, but I actually do.
Come the expansion, we obviously had a shortage of paladins in our Horde-side guild, so I made the switch. (Yes, that means I'm a Blood Elf.) As a paladin, I love the fact that I make every class better at what they do. And I can fill in as an off-tank if needed, so I can help out in the two areas most guilds are lacking: healing and tanking.
For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?
I rolled Horde on Day 1 and have never seriously played an Alliance character.
Favorite thing to do in Azeroth?
Learning -- and beating -- new content. There's nothing better than the thrill of that guild-first kill, knowing you overcame a big challenge with your friends at your side. We've done that twice this week, so I've just been ecstatic.
What's the best instance in the game?
No dungeon has yet to top Zul'Gurub. As large as my guild was pre-expansion (probably too large), we had to beg people to run the 40-player raids. For most of us, they were just too impersonal. But everyone wanted to go to ZG. The 20-player size made it an intimate run but we still had enough slots that we never had to leave too many friends behind. After the loot was revamped, we farmed the heck out of ZG. It had the perfect combination of solid pacing and challenging but not frustrating difficulty. It was also great to have the flexibility to kill the bosses (except Hakkar) in any order you wanted to.
As I said above, guilds are the driving force behind MMOs. Blizzard needs to acknowledge that by giving guild leaders more in-game support and giving guild members more incentive to stick with their guild over time. Guild banks were a step in the right direction, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's absurd to me that I still have to make every member download an add-on just to schedule and sign up for raids.
Virtually every guild has the same basic needs and functions: scheduling events, recruiting and dealing with applicants, communicating information efficiently, distributing loot fairly, tracking participation, and so on. Blizzard is very aware of what we do and what hoops we have to jump through to get these tasks accomplished, and yet they seem content to let us fend for ourselves. People keep asking for guild housing. That would be fun, but there's so much more that Blizzard could be doing to improve the guild experience for everyone.
I don't think I've ever been as excited about a piece of loot as I was when I earned my Rhok'delar. It was my first epic weapon and a massive upgrade for my main character. The four demons were a lot of fun to fight -- there are very few quests in the game that really force you to master your class's abilities like those do. When I took down Solenor, he was bugged so that you couldn't debuff him with a Frost Trap. To this day, I haven't faced a personal challenge like that elsewhere in the game.
Even though this was "solo" content, my guild earned the quest-starting drop for me and they helped me every step of the way with buffs, enchants, consumables, and advice. I'm hoping we see more epic class-specific quests like that in the next expansion.
What accomplishment in-game are you most proud of?
When my guildmates and I celebrated our third anniversary, it was a really tough time for us. We had just lost some good members to RL issues. Our raids were struggling. Our guild bank had just been robbed blind by a hacker. Despite it all, we got together and celebrated with style. It was a really great night and a rallying point that reinforced what the guild is about, first and foremost: having fun. We've gotten back on track since then.